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How Did European Universities React to COVID-19? Exemplary Results from Germany, Italy and Sweden

Silvia Annen* and Sabrina Sailer
Institute of Business Education, University of Bamberg, Germany
*Correspondence: Silvia.Annen@uni-bamberg.de (S.A.)

Abstract—In times of a global crisis with limited social contacts due to social distancing, alternative (digital) communication formats offer a way to maintain sharing information as well as interacting socially. Especially with universities’ physical closing, there is a demand especially for students to obtain information digitally. Therefore, the importance of adequate communication via digital channels arises. The pandemic serves as an amplifier towards informational channeling. However, universities vary greatly regarding their process of information sharing. To address these differences, this paper analyzes how European universities reacted to the disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic and how they dealt with communication towards students. The focus points towards the question on how universities strategies aim to supplement, substitute or reconfigure social interaction. Besides an overview of the general meaning of communication for universities, the paper presents general and country-specific results on the communication of universities during the pandemic and provides a comparative overview of alternative strategies.
Keywords—COVID-19, communication strategies, media content analysis, European universities 

Cite: Silvia Annen and Sabrina Sailer, "How Did European Universities React to COVID-19? Exemplary Results from Germany, Italy and Sweden," International Journal of Learning and Teaching, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 1-9, March 2023. doi: 10.18178/ijlt.9.1.1-9

Copyright © 2023 by the authors. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0), which permits use, distribution and reproduction in any medium, provided that the article is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and no modifications or adaptations are made.